Saturday Single No. 302

Time is in short supply this morning, with both the Texas Gal and I having appointments today: she for a day of sewing at one of her friends’ homes and I – along with my mother – at a gathering celebrating the seventieth birthdays of twin brothers who are long-time family friends.

(The two brothers were students at St. Cloud State in the early 1960s and worked for my father in the audiovisual department he headed. I saw them for the first time in years last autumn when we celebrated my mother’s ninetieth birthday, and the first thing either of the two brothers said to me was “My gosh, you look like your father!” Those words were sweet music.)

Anyway, with time on a summer Saturday already sliding past, it seemed like a good day to do a random draw with summertime titles and see what we land on. There are, I would guess, about two hundred titles available, so here we go.

First up is “Home For the Summer” by the Hour Glass, which was a band on the Liberty label that featured Gregg and – at least on the first of the group’s two albums – Duane Allman. The track comes from 1968’s Power of Love, the second of the Hour Glass albums, and I’m not certain if Duane is on the album or if he’d already headed back to the southeast. As it happens, “Home For The Summer” is a decent bluesy track that gives hints of what Gregg Allman would sound like when he and Duane and the rest of the ABB got together a year or so later.

In the mid-1960s, film director Bruce Brown spent about a year following surfers Mike Hynson and Robert August around the world for the film The Endless Summer. The film’s title, says Wikipedia, came from the idea, “expressed at both the beginning and end of the film, that if one had enough time and money it would be possible to follow the summer around the world, making it endless.” The film’s soundtrack was provided by the Sandals, and their mellow surf-ish title tune, “The Endless Summer,” is our second stop this morning.

When Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band played the Agora in Cleveland, Ohio, in August of 1978, the performance was recorded with the thought of releasing a live album, a project that was later shelved. Bootlegs of the recording surfaced, of course, and not long ago, one of them found its way into my mp3 shelves. So this morning, we hear Bruce and the boys cover “Summertime Blues.”

Sixteen-year-old Mark Eric Malmborg, recording in the mid-1960s as Mark Eric, only released one record, but it’s a classic of sunshine pop mixed with a little bit of surf. And it’s prized by collectors. At Amazon this morning, the sole available copy of the LP A Midsummer’s Day Dream is priced at $110 (though a CD copy of the album with an accompanying book is priced at less than $9). Our fourth stop this morning is the sweet tune that seems to me to be the center of the album, “Where Do The Girls Of Summer Go?”

The British band Steel Mill, says All Music Guide, is a “band long lost to the realm of speculation, misinformation, and even outright myth.” Formed by five musicians in the south London neighborhood of Wadsworth, the band cut some demos that were interesting and good enough to get a production deal. The resulting sessions provided one hit single, “Green Eyed God,” that became the title of the group’s moody album of progressive rock, which the band’s label decided to release only in Germany. This morning, we land on the equally moody and slightly disquieting “Summer’s Child” from Green Eyed God.

And then, Blue Öyster Cult sings:

This ain’t the Garden of Eden
There ain’t no angels above
And things ain’t like what they used to be
And this ain’t the summer of love.

Okay, so it’s not the sweet or mellow summertime tune I thought I’d land on this morning. The gloom and nihilism found on BÖC’s 1976 album Agents of Fortune isn’t my world, which is a good thing. But a deal is a deal, and at least the song rocks, so I can live with “This Ain’t The Summer Of Love” falling into place as this week’s Saturday Single.


2 Responses to “Saturday Single No. 302”

  1. Larry Grogan says:

    Wow! What a surprise to see MarK Eric on your list. I have the album and a couple of 45s and they may just be the greatest Brian Wilson records that Brian Wilson never made.
    Certainly not for everyone, but if you’re a big fan of mid-to-late 60s Beach Boys his stuff is definitely worth a listen.

  2. porky says:

    shoot, I pride myself on knowing of and/or owning lots of “sounds like the Beach Boys (as well as the band’s stuff) and have never heard of Mark Eric. Time to investigate….

    I did however just score a long-time want, Ricci Martin’s LP, “Beached” that features involvement with the BB’s (he’s the son of Dean and Carl Wilson was his brother-in-law at one time).

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